We've got quite a clash as the fourth week of MLS kicks off play with the Seattle Sounders will be hosting Los Angeles FC on a short week after LAFC secured qualification to the next round of Concacaf Champions League. As most of the world enters an international break after the weekend, MLS will continue playing as teams continue to find their rhythm. One team that doesn't have those concerns is St. Louis City SC. The Western Conference leaders have won all three of their matches since joining MLS, scoring eight goals and only conceding four. Facing the San Jose Earthquakes, they'll have a good chance to run their record to a perfect 4-0 as well.
Here's a look at this weekend's MLS schedule and storylines:
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Saturday, Mar. 18
All times Eastern and all games are available on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV
- Seattle Sounders vs. Los Angeles FC, 4 p.m. (fuboTV -- try for free)
- CF Montreal vs. Philadelphia Union, 7:30 p.m.
- Atlanta United vs. Portland Timbers, 7:30 p.m.
- New England Revolution vs. Nashville SC, 7:30 p.m.
- Orlando City SC vs. Charlotte FC, 7:30 p.m.
- Toronto FC vs. Inter Miami, 7:30 p.m.
- NY Red Bulls vs. Columbus, 7:30 p.m.
- New York City FC vs. D.C. United, 7:30 p.m.
- FC Dallas vs. Sporting KC, 8:30 p.m.
- Houston Dynamo vs. Austin FC, 8:30 p.m.
- St. Louis City vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 8:30 p.m.
- Chicago Fire vs. FC Cincinnati 8:30 p.m.
- Colorado Rapids vs. Minnesota United, 9:30 p.m.
- LA Galaxy vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, 10:30 p.m.
Battle at the top of the West
With their performances to begin the season, LAFC are not only picking up where they left off last season, but with the addition of Timothy Tillman, the team could be better than the one that won MLS Cup. They suffered a setback in Champions League play losing to Alajuelense but already ahead 3-0 after a first leg triumph, there was no reason for Steve Cherundolo to push for much more in the match.
Seattle are back after missing the playoffs last season. Coming off of a loss to FC Cincinnati, Seattle has a quick chance to rebound despite an injury to Heber. Raul Ruidiaz has been building up his fitness and could start this match, making the tie look like a Championship match. With Jordan Morris also back to top form, there is plenty of firepower to go around between the two.
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Who can stop St. Louis?
St. Louis City, undefeated in their first three matches, are not only enjoying one of the best starts to the season by an expansion team but they're enjoying one of the best starts to the season ever. With another victory, St. Louis will have began the year with the second most victories in league history with four. The overall record of seven, which is held by the 2012 Sporting Kansas City side, is also in sight. Due to the expanded playoffs, St. Louis may have already punched their ticket to the postseason if they can avoid an extended dip in form this season.
Welcome back to the east Nashville SC
With goals from wing backs and an organized defense led by Walker Zimmerman, Nashville SC are looking like a complete unit this season. Yet to allow a goal, the team has been able to take their time bringing star forward Hany Mukhtar back into the fold after he suffered an injury during the preseason. Jacob Shaffelburg has been a revelation at wing back which is quite a loss for Toronto FC, who need all the help they can get from young players. With another clean sheet against the Revolution, who could be without Carles Gil, Nashville will have a share of the lead for the most consecutive shutouts to start a season with four, keeper Joe Willis already has a share of that record with three clean sheets but he can become the sole leader if they can keep the Revs from scoring.